Total acres of pavement: 35
Total miles of roadways: 9
Total miles of sidewalks 4
Average annual snowfall: 82"

Best Management Practices (BMP's) for Snow & Ice Removal

The UVM Grounds crew uses best practices for snow and ice removal including:

  • Pre-treatment of surfaces with brine to prevent snow bonding to the surfaces and ensure maximum impact of salt application.
  • Pre-treatment of road salt with a liquid deicing product that enhances the melting capabilities of the salt in lower temperatures. The ProMelt Ultra 2000 liquid is made from refined corn carbohydrate derivative blended with magnesium chloride.
  • Annual staff training on best practices and optimal application rates of salt, and 
  • Secure storage of salt in constructed covered sheds to ensure that no salt leaches out from the structure.

Salt Mitigation Task Force

In 2020, we brought together a group of staff, faculty, researchers and students to investigate how changes could be made through interdisciplinary and data driven decision-making. Task Force meetings were initially held on MS Teams and have continued bi-weekly since. Due to the nature of the problem, the timing of snowfall and baseline data measurements, the project developed quickly in the first year. 


To be an institutional and community leader in reducing the effects of salt usage on the environment and on physical/building infrastructure.


Institute a multi-disciplinary team to investigate, recommend and implement processes and procedures that reduce salt usage across campus while still maintaining a safe campus community.

Task Force Goals

  1. Spend less money on infrastructure repairs.
  2. Reduce salt usage (both fiscally and physically as compared with normalized to weather conditions) without compromising safety.
  3. Establish a baseline monitoring program to assess the impacts of salt reduction efforts on water quality in watershed areas and storm water treatment ponds.
  4. Use a collaborative process and share success and failures internally and externally (beyond UVM).
  5. Develop training videos to guide custodial staff on proper salt application/spreading technique.
  6. Improve process for securing funding for equipment upgrades Funding- how do we plan for upgrades to equipment that will save money.
  7. Educate the campus community on our salt reduction efforts and affect a cultural shift in how individuals prepare for and interact with the exterior elements and environment during the winter.  Establish a mindset across campus: "It IS going to snow. Plan ahead, Be careful." 
  8. Sharing the message- relates to campus wide sustainable practices, leverage Sustainable Campus Fund monies. 
  9. Engage with and involve other entities including City of Burlington and State of Vermont.
  10. Enjoy winter!

Salt Mitigation Measures at UVM

Learn more in our 35-minute video presentation (featured at the 2021 Adirondack Champlain Regional Salt Summit.)

2021 Task Force Members

Kris StepenuckAssociate Professor, Rubenstein School of Environment & Natural
Kevin SweeneyDeferred Maintenance Project Manager, Physical Plant
Paul CampoQuality Assurance Coordinator, Custodial
Matt WalkerGrounds Manager, Physical Plant
Adam HolmesAsset Coordinator (Formerly Grounds Supervisor), Physical Plant
Courtney GilesLecturer, Department of Civil & Environmental
Robby TshiemberStormwater Monitoring Research Intern-Senior Environmental Engineering (B.S.)
Liza McLatchyStormwater Monitoring Research Intern- Junior Environmental Engineering (B.S.)
John LensSenior Lecturer, Department of Civil & Environmental
Jarod FountainMechanical Engineering Intern-Senior Mechanical Engineering (B.S.)
Eric BerlinerAssistant Director of Maintenance & Operations, Physical Plant